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Archive for May, 2010

…um…okay. I guess.

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Today, I was sitting in the coffee shop studying for the California Bar when this guy just comes up to me and asks me if I thought the music was too loud. I look up, pull out one headphone, assess the coffee shop music and give a small cursory nod of agreement. “Yeah, it’s kind of loud,” I agree.

He nods, “That’s what I thought. I just asked them to lower the volume.”

I shrug, pop my earphone back on, then turn back to my books.

“So, do you live around here?”

I pause in the middle of trying to remember exactly how to analyze res ipsa loquitur and look up at him again. I pop out the earphone again. “What?” I ask, politely.

“Do you live in downtown?”

I’m a nice person. I wouldn’t just give this guy the death glare. But I was mildly irritated. I was focused dammit. Do you know how hard it is to get into the zone with Torts?!?

So, I give him a small smile. “Yeah, I do.”

“It’s a nice area.”

Really? Really?! Small talk? I nod. “I like it, yeah.”

I try to turn back away. I mean, it was obvious, right? He’s standing over my table, I’ve got my laptop, my books and an assortment of papers all around me, and I’m popping my earphone back in.

“So you’re in law, huh?”

OMG. If only lasers came out of my eyes.

“Yeah…I’m actually studying for the Bar…”

“That’s cool. Where did you go to school?”

Can someone please tell me how to not be evil and cut this person off? Cuz it turns out, I don’t know how, and I spent a good solid 20 minutes talking to this guy.

I find out he’s a neurosurgeon. He owns a condo in downtown and a house in Newport Beach. How can someone so successful and awesome on a resume just not get that I was in the zone?

Finally, he goes off, grabs a seat somewhere and reads the paper.

An hour later, he’s back. “Hey, so I’m leaving. Let me give you my number.”

I’m snapped out of my zone again. Wtheck, man?! I have a schedule. A regimen.

And besides, how do I say, “Actually, no, don’t.” or even politely smile and say, “I’d rather you didn’t.”???

So, I smile politely and say, “Um, okay?”

He takes my post-it pad and tears off the front page where I had scribbled some pages on the book I had to review and writes his number(s) down. Wha—? Nobody rips off just anybody’s post-it notes! NOOOO!

He looks at me, straight in the eye. I swear to you it was like the staring game. I was too scared to blink. “Call me,” he says.

Um…no? I really don’t want to? — again, how does one really say that?!?

I don’t really say anything. Maybe I mumbled an ‘okay’ or smiled and nodded. I don’t know. He waves and leaves the coffee shop.

I sigh. Here’s one more number I don’t know what to do with.

So, I don’t get it: Aren’t guys supposed to ask for my digits?  What’s with the “let me leave you my number” or “here’s my number if you want to hang out” or the “I left something on your desk”?

Coop says it’s a no-risk move for a guy.

What about for the girl?

Because, sure, while I didn’t particularly like the intrusion of the coffee-shop guy, there was one guy that gave me his number. But I wasn’t sure if it was a gesture of friendship or interest. And don’t get me wrong, I am interested in him. But man, now the ball was on my court and I don’t know what to do!?! I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.

I guess I’m a girl in the traditional sense. I like being pursued. I like being the one invited out as opposed to “calling if I wanna hang out”.

I don’t know. Am I just mental? Am asking too much in this modern world? Am I just really chicken-shit when the ball is in my court?

I think the answer to that is yes.

Maybe next time someone I couldmaybekindof be interested in tries to give me his number, I should just say, “Actually, lemme give you my number.”

Problem solved.

GENIUS.

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Taking Law of Global Warming is really disheartening.

I want to save the planet and be a good citizen of the Earth, but after going through the last 14 weeks of class and writing my (simulated) recommendations to Todd Stern (Special Envoy to Climate Change in the US State Department) for COP16 of the UNFCCC, I just feel like the planet cannot be saved.

It’s a great notion.

But I think that’s all it’s ever going to be. Politics just ruins the crap out of moral intentions. But that’s reality. I’ve always been a subscriber of the realist notion that the world works based on a distribution of power. It’s a zero-sum game out there. When there’s a taker, someone’s gotta give.

Thus, even in dealing with carbon emissions, it’s all about a market and who gets how many credits to keep on polluting. It’s about whether third-world countries are willing to commit to something that would stunt their politico-economic growth. And it’s about alliances. Who can convince whom to do what and in exchange for what? If the U.S. goes and sits in a room with China and Sudan and gets them onboard with Copenhagen…that should be a good thing, right? But then, where is the transparency in the entire transaction? Why the closed doors?

Oh well.

Being the realist that I am, I understand how things work and I know that what is necessary must be done to accomplish the goal. I even understand the continued protection of coal and oil industries even as the country purports to move towards renewable energy sources. It’s done because they have the power to do this. In a realist world, change or the lack thereof always originates from a place of power. Only something more powerful could upset the balance.

Where is Captain Planet when you need him?

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Sadly, another one of my father’s brothers has been diagnosed with cancer.

It’s happening again.

Sigh.

He was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. It is the same one my father was diagnosed with more than sixteen years ago.  But there is hope for my uncle. His was diagnosed at Stage 1 and the technology has vastly improved in the last 16 years.  My father, being the stubborn butt that he was, ignored all the pain, the headaches, the frequent nosebleeds.  His cancer was not diagnosed until Stage 4. At that point, he was given a year to live.

My father fought his cancer for six years. We traveled all over the world searching for technology, science, medicines, religion, and any semblance of hope. The cancer took its toll on my father. The chemotherapy weakened him such that he weighed little more than 98 pounds at some points, the radiation burned through his vocal chords that for years he could not speak, he was unable to eat solid foods, and he was constantly in pain.

It’s really hard watching someone you love go through something like that.

I wish my uncle the best. I wish his family strength and hope. I also wish the rest of our family the same. Our family has lost so much in such a few years.

Here’s to hoping.

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I made this for my family when my mom told me that I needed to figure out what to do with some ground pork she had defrosted. They loved it and requested it again in the same week.

So, here goes:

MA PO TOFU (Simmered Tofu with Ground Pork)

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes to add spice
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup chopped scallion
1 cup chicken stock
2 pounds soft or silken tofu, cut into cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce

Salt to taste, chili and ginger to taste.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put the oil in a deep skillet or wok. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook just until they begin to sizzle.
  2. Add the pork and stir to break it up; cook, stirring occasionally, until it loses most of its pink color.
  3. Add the scallion and stir; add the stock. Make sure the pork is fully cooked, then add the tofu.
  4. Cook, stir­ring gently because the tofu is very soft. Stir in the soy sauce, taste, and add salt and hot pepper flakes as necessary.

    I love ginger, so I added more ginger in, too.Enjoy!
    Pictures to come when I make it again!

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I adore this song.

I adore the animation.

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Vampire Diaries Fanfic

Title: Near Touch

Summary: “It’s about the simple intimacy of the near-touch.”

Author’s Note: The scene is inspired by the Miss Mystic Falls episode.

NEAR-TOUCH

She was in trouble.

Maybe it was because everyone was watching them. Or maybe it was because he was looking at her. Or maybe it was because she suddenly realized that she was probably staring into a pair of the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen.

It didn’t matter, because whatever it was, in that moment, Elena Gilbert completely forgot about Stefan Salvatore.

It was like she couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t hear, she couldn’t see, couldn’t even think about anyone else but him.

Her mouth went dry as they stood staring at each other. She couldn’t pry her eyes away from his even as she heard the first strains of the music begin. 

The dance started with their right hands a hair’s breadth from touching as they spun slowly.  Elena could feel the surprising heat that radiated from his palm. It filtered through her hand, down her arm, all the way through her body. She imagined it was why her knees suddenly felt weak, and her heart seemed to be beating faster than it should.

And, oh God, the way he looked at her.

Had she ever noticed how utterly blue his eyes were? They looked at her as if there was a light shining from behind them. They called her into their depths and she felt like she wouldn’t mind falling into them forever.

“Flirt with your eyes,”

Mrs. Lockwood’s voice filtered through her thoughts. She hadn’t understood what it had meant earlier in the week during rehearsals. But there was no way she could mistake the look in Damon’s eyes.

He looked at her like she was his universe.

Like she was everything he ever wanted.

Elena couldn’t look away.  She could barely contain herself from deftly moving her fingertips to touch his hand.

They switched hands and spun the other way. Elena suddenly understood what desire was. It was in the way your fingers longed to reach out and just touch the other person’s hand. It was the way her body thrummed with the music, with an inner desire to be closer and closer still to Damon. It was in the way she wanted to simply sink into him.

And it was in the way he looked at her.

This time they lifted both their hands towards each other and they were face to face. The air between them felt electric.  It felt forbidden. It felt like the whole world had simply dropped away.

It’s about the simple intimacy of the near-touch.

Again, Elena finally understood exactly what Mrs. Lockwood meant.  How could almost touching someone send little arcs of electricity flitting just beneath the surface of her skin? How could being so close, but not close enough, make the world feel like all the air had been sucked away and the only way to survive was to touch him?

She almost swayed closer, their hands almost touched; she almost closed her eyes in the sheer agony of need.  Almost touching Damon was like almost breathing. It was like almost living. It was like being cold and almost feeling the heat of a fire.

She wanted him to touch her. So bad.

And he did.

He slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her close to him—closer than what the dance called for—but not nearly close enough for Elena.  Her hand slipped into his and he clasped his fingers around hers. He held her like he would never let go. He held her like she was the most precious thing in the universe.

It was almost love.

She saw his eyes flicker as if he had read her mind. She saw the slight quirk of his lips as if he just realized that she was willingly in his arms, a small smile on her face, her eyes open to her soul.

To Elena, being in Damon’s arms, it felt almost like belonging.

They spun on the floor and the colors around them were a blur. All she saw were intent clear blue eyes that never left her.  All she felt was the warmth that radiated from the points of contact.  His hand entwined with hers, the other resting lightly over the exposed skin on her back.

It felt like he had branded her with the heat of his touch.

They danced and Elena lost herself in it. She had never felt lighter. She forgot everything—the secrets, the sadness, the guilt, the worry—she was just a girl dancing with a boy.

But the song ended and Damon stepped away, almost abruptly.  Cool air replaced the warmth between them and it hit Elena like a rude awakening.  The sounds of laughter, of the audience clapping reminded her of exactly where she was, of who she was. 

And it reminded her of Stefan.

In that moment, she looked away.  Her heart was racing, terrified of what a single dance could do.  Terrified that she had, for those few moments, forgotten that Stefan existed. 

But most of all, she was terrified that she had wanted Damon’s touch.

All my agony fades away, when you hold me in your embrace… The song teased through her as she turned away and smiled for the audience. 

“If you ask me, near-touch is overrated,” Stefan had said at rehearsals. 

If you asked her, near-touch was like opening Pandora’s box. It was trouble.

THE END.

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There is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these lovable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else; they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.

— Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself To Live

The score as it is now is pretty even. Some days, I feel like he still wins and that I’ll always compare everyone with him. But most days, I figure I’m happy. I have amazing friends, I find a reason to laugh and something to love every day.

And I’m convinced that someone someday will sweep me off my feet that I won’t even know what hit me. I won’t even have the moment to compare. I can only fall, fall, fall in love.

It’s not happened yet. So for now, I’ll concede that we’re even.

But be warned: I’m in this life to win.

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